Damages in Tile that Needs Repair
In most all cases, damaged tile should be replaced. The big question, Did you save some extra tile from the original installation to make repairs? If you have a common tile, it may possible to buy new pieces, though there may be some slight color variations.
If you don't have the spare tile, it's very possible to lay out a pattern combining some new tiles with the old tiles to look nicely integrated and give it that unique look.
Repairing damaged tile is a cumbersome job that can be done by the average homeowner. But it is a messy, dirty job.
Unless you already have a replacement tile and need only to replace one or two tiles, the time and energy it will take to repair your damaged tiles isn't worth the money
Common Types of Tile Damage
Often a tile's coloration is on the surface. Deeper scratches will uncover the white ceramic underneath. Tile discoloration is very rare. Usually a tile's color is set during the firing process. If for some reason discoloration happens, replacement is the only option.
The best way to repair loose floor tiles is to remove and replace them with new tiles. However, when replacement tiles are not available, it is possible to bond loose tiles by injecting a liquid bonding material into strategically drilled holes in the grout lines between tiles. The activated bonding material is allowed to cure and the holes re-grouted. Worn tiles need to be replaced. The erosion created by normal wear and tear puts the tile at structural risk.
Repairing Damaged Tile Grout
The color of grout can often be changed without re-grouting. The process also creates a stain-proof grout, preventing dirt and spills from penetrating the grout in the future. When grout is missing, cracked, and stained beyond cleaning, it can be re-grouted. After sufficient curing, the new grout should be sealed with a good penetrating sealer.
Repairing Damaged Tile Caulking
Tile Repair Alternatives
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Graeme Stephens has been running the largest owned carpet cleaning company
in new Zealand for 24 years. IICRC qualified "master restoration technician"